WHAT IT MEANS: St. John's drops to 8-8 on the season, and 2-3 in Big East play, losing on the road to the No. 24-ranked Golden Eagles. Believe it or not, the Red Storm actually led at halftime, but were blown out in the second half -- thanks in part to a key player fouling out with more than 10 minutes remaining (see below).
St. John's is now 0-6 this season against Top 25 opponents.
THE SKINNY: The first half was a tight back-and-forth affair, with 14 lead changes. The Red Storm hung right with the Golden Eagles, thanks to some nifty interior passing and taking four charges on defense. Moe Harkless picked up his second foul with 9:08 remaining in the half, and D'Angelo Harrison with 4:26 left -- both headed to the bench. But St. John's still led 32-31 at intermission -- and the margin should have been greater, St. John's missed several chippies inside.
Things went south quickly in the second half for the Johnnies. Harrison picked up his third foul with 17:21 left, then his fourth just 16 seconds later when he got called for a charge right after a steal in the backcourt. Harrison headed back to the bench, with Marquette up 40-36. He re-entered the game at the 12:04 mark, but then fouled out 41 seconds later on another charge call. The Golden Eagles led 56-45 at that point, and dominated the Red Storm from there, shooting 21-for-31 from the field in the second half.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: With St. John's lack of depth, you knew foul trouble was going to cause a big problem at some point this season -- well, it did tonight. Harrison, the Big East rookie of the week last week, has been playing so well -- chalk this one up to growing pains. The freshman shooting guard, who finished with 10 points in just 20 minutes, has to be more careful -- St. John's simply cannot afford to not have him on the floor.
On the bright side, God'sgift Achiuwa had one of his best games of the season, finishing with 20 points and seven rebounds, shooting 9-for-14 from the field.
NUMBER CRUNCH: The St. John's defense, which looked good in the first half, fell apart in the second half. Marquette shot 67.7 percent after intermission, and 55.9 percent (33-for-59) for the game. The Golden Eagles came out hot after the break, but losing Harrison also may have deflated the rest of his teammates. Harrison is the Red Storm's sparkplug, at both ends of the floor, and St. John's looked a little lost without him.
WHAT'S NEXT: St. John's gets yet another crack at a Top 25 win, hosting No. 11 Georgetown at Madison Square Garden on Sunday at noon.